General

Changing My Mind About Bots

I am doing a course about using bots and learning just excellent they are in business for the small business person as well as a corporate company. It’s an available way of automating many of your processes.

Do you know something? I never thought that I would be interested in bots.

Because, quite frankly, I hate when they are used improperly. Then bots become clumsy and clunky and they just don’t feel right to the end-user. There are so many times I’ve thought “Why can’t I just make a quick phone call instead?” but that’s not necessarily going to be a viable option.

However, when it is used correctly and making “actual” conversation, it goes really well.

I didn’t think this was possible. But I have seen it in the setup that the two people teaching us have done and honestly, it opened my mind to a whole new world. I have been able to see multiple opportunities where it would be useful. Bots can remove the necessity for me in being involved in every step of the process.

When you start a business you know that you can’t do it all, you don’t have the expertise and you need to automate as much as you can. Well, I have now discovered ways that I can see myself actually wanting to automate, so I am going to. This is doing something that I didn’t believe was possible.

My mind was saying this was impossible and that nobody could do this.

But I have seen that it CAN be done successfully. So I am going to set at least one up. In fact, if you are around you may see more than one in use, at one time.

There are so many people saying that they “have” the ability to do things, but they just don’t work the way the initial person conceived in their mind. The impact it has on the end-user is certainly not what the author envisioned. And using a bot, you can even give someone an alternative day/time/service, if they are not able to participate for any reason.

You might be wondering why I brought up this whole concept of automated bots.

Well, if you are an introvert or someone who doesn’t like to use the telephone, or for some other reason, you can use bots in your business. And using bots can make your business successful, combining them with your own personal expertise.

So you see, even in this one thing, I am glad that I kept an open mind and took the course although I had wondered if it was worth doing at all. Because I love the “personal touch,” but you can have that without being physically present. You don’t need to lose that sense of everyone being an individual just because you are too busy or tired or telephoned out and just cannot do one. More. Thing.

The bot can do most, if not all, of the processes you need.

However, you must remember to stay in the terms and conditions of whatever social media platform you are using at the time.

What do you think about bots? Send me am email or comment below. I would love to hear it, especially as I have gone from a complete hater to loving seeing all the different things I could do with them.

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Business Tips

The Importance of Confidence

The importance of confidence. Something we don’t often think about, but it can really change things for a person. If you’re not confident, it can cause you so many problems.

Fact is, if your confidence is low, it impacts everything you do.

I have a friend who used to find it really difficult to speak up in business meetings because her confidence was so low. Now it may not necessarily be a business meeting that you have a problem with, but that doesn’t mean you find it easy to express your opinion in every situation you encounter if you find it hard to be confident.

One of the issues can be that if you are unable to put forward your opinion and discuss it, this could impact your business life because people won’t know what you can do. They can pass over you when they are looking for someone to promote because of it.

For me, in the past, I have found my confidence to be a real problem.

I couldn’t go driving to strange places because I didn’t trust myself to get there in one piece. When I first came to Scotland, I got lost a few times and it really scared me. I lost my confidence in my ability to find new places and ensured that I had someone with me. This gave me a problem because it certainly curtailed my life and if I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, I was stuck.

So you can see that if you don’t have confidence it can impact you in many different situations and circumstances.

I went to counseling for 10 years to get me to a place where I was confident and capable of facing life in every area.

Now I am at the stage where I can live life without the support of a counselor in the background. Living life to the full because you have the confidence to do it is extremely important. It gives you the ability to shine and show others just how great you really are at the things you do. It has made me able to begin building a company alone and I even went to a networking meeting where I didn’t even know anybody.

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Creativity

Creative Self: Finding Trust and Timing

Have you ever entered a competition without the expectation of winning?

I write poetry for enjoyment and years ago, a friend of mine would find competitions for me to enter and sometimes I won, sometimes I didn’t.

But you know what? Whether I won or lost wasn’t really the issue at the time. The important thing was me actually taking part in and entering these things. You see, I had no self-worth at all.

And she encouraged me to believe that I was capable and could actually win.

The first time she suggested it, I backed away in horror, but she insisted that I enter this thing and filled out the form for me. All I had to do was find the poem and post it. I wasn’t sure enough of what I had done to be able to choose and so I got her to make the choice for me.

In fact, thinking back, she may have had to post it for me as well, I can’t quite remember.

The second time, she told me that I would have to choose the poems to send. But I had no idea of how I would choose a poem. So she explained to me that if I felt moved by what I had written, then others would too and that would be what made the difference for me.

So I chose the poems and sent them off and for the second time, I got printed in a book of poems. If you want to know the honest truth, I have been printed four times in four different books. And that’s ok because although I didn’t enjoy entering these competitions she found when I did see my poem, in print in a book, it made me feel really proud.

Now for years, I haven’t entered any poetry competitions and in fact, haven’t written as much poetry as I used to. I have been pretty much neglecting that part of my creativity. I’m not thinking I will write a poem a day or that I will be published in many more books.

However, this side of my creative self has been ignored, as has my digital art.

At this point, I just want you to know that my digital art is nowhere near competition level so it’s not going to be entered into anything.

My goodness, what do you think I can learn from this?

Yes, it’s important for me not to deny my creative self as I have been doing for so long. I have been “topping myself up” by going and painting ceramics every so often. But that doesn’t really cover my creative self’s need.

At some point in every week, I need to make time for my creative self.

They are the cornerstone of my existence and need expression. No, I’m not going to be successful in every application – I wasn’t back then. But if I don’t write something to actually send, there’s not even a chance of me winning.

If you want to follow my creative journey, sign up for my email.

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If you want to come along with me and learn together, you can. You don’t have to start out on your journey alone. My creative self is longing for expression and if yours is calling you, for goodness’ sake, answer in the affirmative and get going.

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Working from home

Discovering a Hidden Allergy

I had a problem the other day – an allergy to playdoh! Now, seriously, this is not something that I think you would expect to happen, is it? It’s a child’s plaything, something that helps build their muscles for writing. Something that almost every child either has, sees and uses in someone else’s house or has access to in a playschool/nursery/school setting.

Basically, it’s around, isn’t it?

Well, a few months ago, I realised that I had a problem with both gluten and dairy. And, I needed to come off them to improve my quality of life. This wasn’t entirely unexpected seeing as I had many problems with them years ago, but I had got better and assumed I wouldn’t have any difficulty with them again. This, combined with some other things I have done, has begun improving my health dramatically.

Two Christmases ago, I realised that Johnathan’s bowel problems needed a dramatic solution. They were overtaking our lives so I took him gluten-free and within three days he was fine. However, around the same time, we discovered there was gluten in playdoh. And, I thought washing his hands when he was done would be enough to sort the allergy.

So quite honestly, although the thought in my mind was I needed to wash my hands afterward, I was not expecting an allergic reaction to playing with it with my son.

Suddenly, my whole body felt like it was on fire.

My hands were burning, itching and in tremendous pain. My face was swelling and I had only been playing with him for about five minutes! I called Kevin, he took my trousers off, went outside to cool off and went into our bedroom, taking a piriton tablet and getting my body to relax after the event.

There was no need to panic, I knew exactly what to do and could do it.

I am sure you have had situations in your work life where you could panic and that really is the initial response, but you can move to deal with the situation instead. Sometimes you need help doing this and that’s ok. Don’t get stressed if you do but just find the support you need and accept it.

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Business Tips

Gaining Confidence in Business

Confidence is important in everything you do, but you don’t always have that confidence. And that’s ok, but if you want to develop and grow, you need to believe that you can do it.

Sometimes I lack confidence in myself to achieve something.

At that point, I go back to the saying “I am good enough.”

Remember there is a full stop at the end. It means you can’t say “except for….” – it’s done. That’s it. You are good enough.

I think that confidence and belief are pretty much entwined in many ways.

If you are unconfident, you will not believe that you can achieve whatever it is that is there in front of you. Starting a business is a scary prospect for anyone. You have many fears and uncertainties as you enter into a new world that yes, maybe you know a little bit about, but you don’t understand everything that will be thrown at you.

Suddenly you feel you need to be about six people at once and learn everything there is to know about creating a business. Having confidence in a situation like that is not easy.

But you can believe that you can do it and create the business you want, in your own way and be confident that you can do so. Finding confidence in the situation can be difficult but I know that it is possible to do so.

Believe in yourself and your abilities and you can succeed and you will.

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General

Discomfort is the Currency of Success

Discomfort is the currency of success? Really? Why on earth would that be? Who made the “rule” that it was? Can this really be correct?

When I first saw the quote I was surprised but then as I looked at it I saw much more in it than I initially thought.

Discomfort means you are not in your comfort zone, you are doing something that feels uncomfortable to you.

I’m sure you’ve heard that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, when we do the same thing over and over we are not only repeating ourselves, but we are staying well within our comfort zone and will never be able to progress in life or make any changes.

If you wish to make changes in your life, you cannot remain doing the same thing. Change means you necessarily will experience discomfort because this is not what you are used to. Thing is, do you want to change enough to make the adjustments that are necessary in your life?

But is discomfort really the currency of success?

If you change things will it bring you success in the areas which you desire things to be altered? Well, as you know currency can be good or bad or it can be exchanged for something else of similar value.

Fact is, once you step out of your comfort zone, you are open to a variety of changes. Will you know if it’s the right one? Only when you get to that place. Is it scary? Yes. But only when you put yourself out there will you begin to discover if you have taken the correct path or not.

Sometimes a small adjustment is all that is needed to be made.

Sometimes it is a complete change.

But until you have the courage to actually make a move in a different direction, you won’t know.

Personally, I have made a number of changes and some adjustments in my life. Some I have hated and some have brought me the best things I could ever have imagined. You never know. But until you make a move, nothing will change.

So yes, discomfort is the currency of success but it may not be initially as you would wish it to be. You may not be happy with the concept of change but if you want differences in your life, you cannot keep on doing the same thing over and over.

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General

Research: A Necessity for Writing

There are so many things to consider when writing for others. One of the big things that can be overlooked is research.

Research Everchanging Information

This does take a chunk of time, but that’s ok. You have to be prepared to research your topic. Information changes and what you thought or learned a year or even six months ago, depending on the subject, could easily change. When you think about it, there could be developments in the field that you are unaware of.

On the other hand, with some subjects, the information is generally static and doesn’t really change. And that’s ok. But off the top of my head, I can’t think of any subject that doesn’t change in some way, can you?

So, as a writer, one must always be prepared to ensure you are up with the times on current information. And I believe it is impossible to know everything about every subject. But you can learn and it isn’t even hard to come by the information now in this current age.

One of the things I love is learning about different subjects through research.

To me, writing is the most fun part of the process because I can do the different styles and lengths that are needed. But I also know that I need to have the correct and most current information for writing as well.

So whatever it is you want written, I can do it for you. I know that research is part of the whole process and will ensure that it is correct for you and you love the whole thing.

Business Tips

A Quick Business Lesson from the Dentist’s Office

I had a bizarre experience with Johnathan that quickly turned into a small business lesson.

We went to the hospital dentist. Oh, you say, well that’s an ordinary thing to take a child to the dentist. And yes, we go to a hospital one for myself and for him.

Anyway, we went in through the main doors into the reception. One of the ladies said she would take us down to the waiting area. So she opened the first door with her card, and suddenly disappeared! Not knowing what else to do, I kept on going to where a seating area was. We had been there for 20 minutes. I thought that was more than enough time for us waiting without an explanation. So I went to the only room I had seen someone come out of, although I knew she was one of the hygienists. And she sent her nurse to find out. What happened next, to me, was a bit astonishing. The nurse came back with the dentist.

They apologized for what happened. She then said that it was impossible to tell the reception staff anything but the receptionists hadn’t even told the dentist we were there!

Now, one thing here is that the dentists and receptionists appear to have a different idea of how the department should be run.

And this is not how a business should be.

To leave someone in a corridor and not even let the dentist know we had arrived was very unprofessional of the receptionist. And for the dentists to know that it isn’t even worth talking to the receptionist shows the vast impasse between them. And to exhibit for all of this to a client was totally unexpected.

Now, I would never expect to be treated like that. After having been in a chair outside for a few years now, I can’t remember one incident of this happening before.

The Business Lesson

So when you have your clients, please make sure you show them the way to go and don’t leave them stranded. And if you do have differences within the department, don’t let them be seen outside the doors.

My writing career

How to Choose a Content Writer

There are many things to consider, but I just want to bring up some three things that really are a must in making the decision in a content writer.

The first thing is, you need to like what the content writer writes.

Look at the style of the writing. Would it be something that you would like to represent you as a person? Is it couched in the language you might conceivably want for your own posting? If it isn’t, then that’s the first sign they’re not right for you.

And you know what?

It’s OK for a content writer to not be for you. They are all individuals and want to write for people in the style that suits them best. And nobody will be offended if you don’t like their particular style. So please don’t let that worry you.

The second thing is, you need to be sure the content writer is aligned with your values.

What do you hold to be the most important thing in your business? Is that the kind of thing they would subscribe to as well? Can you see something that tells you their values? You see, if your values are not aligned with each other, then you could find it very difficult to get the right emphasis you would love in your writing. Your values need to be portrayed in the copy you produce.

And finally, the best thing to do is to have a conversation with your potential content writers.

This is REALLY important because it is in this communication that you and they discover if you can actually work together. There are differences in character that you find you can and can’t work with. And it gives them the opportunity to discover if they can work with you, too.

So here are three things that I would advise you to take notice of if you are wanting to work with a content writer and for them to provide either a one-off piece or continue to write your copy for the future.

If you like my work, check out my Work with Me page and get in touch!
General

Struggling with the Thought of Success

The last few weeks I have found it difficult to get writing. I just felt down and like I had no inspiration whatsoever. Admittedly, I was trying to get everything done in the house and with Johnathan. All the while Kevin had the flu, but that wasn’t the only reason.

In fact, I had stopped responding to most outside stimuli. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that place where everything just seems like too much to do, but there isn’t any particular reason for you feeling like that? That was what it felt like.

Anyway, I was truly grateful to Ian Pownell for waking me up and getting me to the place where I realised it was just me getting in my way.

I had a fear of success.

I thought that maybe my whole character would change if I had money and I would become another person. Problem is, I couldn’t recognise it for myself.

The truth is that many people feel the same way. And it gets in the way of us doing what we were meant to do. I believe money is not there as an evil thing to turn you into a monster who takes it and keeps it and tries to get everyone else’s money as well as your own.

You may have lived with someone that had a terrible money story and this has coloured your view of money because you don’t want to be like that. And it’s ok to change your money story. You don’t have to be stuck with someone else’s.

If you take the time to acknowledge what is really going on here, you would see that really, you are not going to become a money monster. You can begin to tell yourself something different because that’s ok and give yourself permission to make that change.

Just remember you are an individual and can transform your belief into new neural pathways in your brain and start believing something else.

Yes, you might be bothered by the old thinking once in a while and that’s ok. You just tell yourself that you are changing it to something else.

Money in and of itself is not wicked. Success is a good thing. You wouldn’t ascribe evil to a chair or table. would you? It’s the person holding the purse strings that make it good or bad. What do you think?